Thinking big is the philosophical foundation of Orlando Ashford’s career.“I have always been attracted to big opportunities that pose significant mountains to climb,” says Orlando. “My parents always challenged me to think big and expect the best.” It isn’t a surprise that Orlando’s ultimate career aspiration is to be the head of human resources for a Fortune 100 company.
In his current position, Orlando provides leadership for all corporate center people-related initiatives, such as organizational development, people development, leadership development, diversity initiatives, compensation and benefits, and training. In addition, he provides global guidance for the culture change effort for the company. Prior to Coca-Cola, he served as vice president of global human resources strategy and organizational development for Motorola, earning the 2004 CEO Award for Outstanding Performance during his tenure.
Orlando’s infectious ambition permeates his community service efforts. He serves on the board of the New York Opportunity Network—a program that connects lower-income youths in New York City with major corporations for internships, scholarships, and mentoring. In Chicago, he is a board member for Runner’s Club, an organization that supports minority entrepreneurs with education, mentoring, networking, and venture capital.
Orlando resides in Georgia with his wife and children.
This was originally written for the Distinguished Technology Alumni Awards in 2006.